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century? when we face down the threat of climate change, will he dare to be great? this is "hardball" for now. "politics nation"ing with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. we are live from washington, d.c. tonight's lead, what winning looks like. president obama ran on fairness, and he's about to deliver. we're already seeing this president standing strong on the key issues that won this election. fairness. i was part of a group that met with him today at the white house. he is not backing down. he knows that making this a more fair country, protecting the middle class, is the central issue of our time he will ran on fighting for a system that works for everyone. where everyone gets a fair shot at the american dream.
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before our group of civic leaders met with the president, he met with the democratic and republican leaders. they know he has it the upper hand. they know he holds the cards in this fight. with the threat of the fiscal cliff looming, that -- when that happens, you're going to see a winner and a winner who won the national election. the republican leaders even the republican leaders seem to get that today. their words were such a change from what we've heard from them before. to show our serious sez, we've put revenuen ot table as long as it's accompanied by significant spending cuts. we're prepared to put revenue on the table provided we fix the real problem. >> revenue is on the table. this is progress. this is going in the right direction. this is what winning looks like.
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when the president said he would not budge on extending bush tax cuts for the wealthy. and challenged the republicans to join him in allowing the continuation of the tax cuts to the middle class and the working class and took out his pen and said he would sign it right now, the senate had passed it, where is the house, i think he put the republicans, some of whom have to deal with their own constituents in 2014 in a position to where they had to say how do i go home until my middle class and working class voters, republican or democrat, that i'm holding them hostage for the billionaires and the millionaires. that might be why president obama is the president and won the election. joining me now is e.j. dionne, columnist for the post and an msnbc contributor and michelle
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carter washington, correspondent for news week and "the daily beast." first of all, thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> good to be with you. >> let me start with you. has the president won this argument? i mean, i think that service politically brilliant. i happen to agree with it, but in terms of idea logically and politically, but to put the republicans in a position where they're going to have to be responsible for raising the taxes on their constituents or say we're going to make your taxes go up if we don't save the rich, i think he put them between a rock and a hard place. >> you know, it's so ironic because when we are in this position because the republicans a long time ago under president bush were trying to stuff more tax cuts into a very limited number so they said aha, if we say they expire, then we can
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actually pass for tax cuts. now that expiration date means the president has the upper hand. it's clear with from what they were saying today, the principle has been won. taxes are going up on the wealthy. what we are just fighting about now is the price and the form of the tax increase. now, the formatters i think, and the president would simply like the clinton rates to come foo effect. the republicans say we can get the money we need from tax reform. i'm a little skeptical of that. and it goes back to where you started. if he does nothing, the original clinton rates come back and they get blamed for raising middle class taxes. i think the politics runs mostly one way which hasn't happened often in washington over the last couple of years. >> michelle, that's the political side of it. but on the absolute every day living side of it, why would they not want to just do what the senators have already done, and that is to continue the tax cuts for the middle class and
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the working class who need it and extending unemployment for people that need it, the unemployment insurance? i mean, what is so hard about that. >> look, you're talking about house members hose got to where they are on a message that just kind of relentlessly beat than government's too big, that taxationing is theft, that you need to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. now they're in a position where to get anything done, they need to negotiate. this is not a house very good about compromise at all. >> they're going to have a hard time explaining to their constituents, we're not talking noug about what does romney try to call it, gifts. we're talking about their constituents in kentucky, mr. mcconnell, your constituents are going to having to pail $3,000 more in taxes because you want to protect donald trump? i don't know how they sell that, e.j. >> it's very hard to sell. that's why the president pulled out that pen, that picture you're going to see a lot, which
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is why i think they are eventually going to give way. michelle is absolutely right. there were a lot of republicans who still don't want to give the president anything. but i think the signal was that john boehner was re-elected as speaker by this republican conference, and they knew that boehner was going to be a dealmaker with the president. so even the hard liners may have read the election returns, and i think even the hard liners don't be responsible for a tax increase. >> not only boehner, even mcconnell. let me show you this, michelle. mcconnell and boehner had a different kind of sound, different tone today after the meeting. watch this. >> obviously the president won re-election. the republicans were basically unable to get any seats in the senate. more people voted for democrats in the house than republicans. why do you have any leverage whatsoever? >> there's a republican majority here in the house. the american people re-elected the republican majority. >> it's important to remember
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that in this case, the voters also re-elected a republican-controlled house last week. the fact is the government is organized no differently today than it was after the republican wave of 2010. >> now, listen to what they had to say today. >> tomorrow is speaker boehner's birthday. so for those of you who want -- >> i believe we're getting that tape. i want to show. >> happy birthday, john baner. >> i'm going to go to that. but i want to show the difference in the tone between then and now because today, you know, all of what you saw right after the election was you know, well, you know, they elected both the president and us. today they were talking about revenue's on the table. they were talking about, well, we think we can work this out. it was a much different tone than we saw in those earlier statements that we just showed.
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>> right. well, i ththink they had to sho some toughness for the people in their caucus but they know what the underlying reality is. that helps explain the tone. there's just nothing like winning an election, a lot better than losing an election. you saw that, with all the republicans running away from mitt romney who tried to explain the 47% comment in these latest comments, they just ran away and said that's not us. >> you've had republican leaders out there talking about, do you really want to go to the mattresses over this issue? do you really want to lose the country because you want to fight for these really high bracket tax breaks. >> even "the wall street journal" han editorial, the editorial board at the journal seems to indicate that the gop should take a deal now. "wall street journal." let me read you what they said. "if republicans don't blink and we go over the cliff, from the president's point of view, so
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what? mr. obama then has an excuse to blame republicans if there's another recession. meanwhile, he pockets the higher tax rates that take effect on january 1st anyway, and he can then negotiate a budget deal next year without having to makeny tax concessions." this is "the wall street journal." >> when you've lost "the wall street journal," you've lost the fight. >> the days of miracles and wonders a man sang awhile back. it's over. the "journal" is very high church conservativism, and they would not budge unless they looked at the way this was set up. it's just very badly set up for the republicans. >> and the president now has a 58% approval rating. that's the highest since july of 2009. at this point, it looks like be there may be some serious change in the air in this country after
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this election. and elections do have consequences. >> they do. i mean, i think where you're going to get into something more difficult and more difficult for progressives is that the president is going to make some cuts. and i think there are going to be some real arguments possibly that among progress sieves themselves over how much can -- is legitimate to cut particularly for medicare, how is it cut? is it cut in a way that hurts benefits? is it cut from providers but what effect does that have? so i think there's stuff down the road that's more difficult. but on this round, i think he's -- >> i think the spending cuts, you're right, and michelle, you can weigh in on this, but the spending cuts, i think that's where their debate is going to be even from those of us that call ourselves progressives. but that's why i think it's too me easy for the republicans to meet on this about maintaining the tax cut for the middle class and the working class because
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clearly, they've already voted for that in the senate. i mean, why would they make a fight over this is beyond me. >> yeah, it's not really in their best interests to stake their claim in this way. progressives have made clear, i was talking to congressman keith ellis son with the provive caucus, he wants the military cut and things like this. these are going to be fights the president has with his own side. it will be interesting to see how that goes. >> e.j. dionne and michelle, thanks for your time this evening. have a great weekend. coming up, john mccain's shameful rush to judgment on libya. and how the facts are making him look even worse. plus, the drummed up libya scandal is all part of a pattern. coming from the right we're exposing the evolution of the smear ahead. and we all knew mitt romney was a loser, and now republicans do,
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too. this is only a small part of what chris christie said today about the gifts comment. >> you can't expect to be the leader of all the people and be divisive. >> you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know, i conceal this bad boy underneath my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts. and a smartphone... with an e-trade app. ♪ nobody knows... [ male announcer ] e-trade. investing unleashed. [ male announcer ] e-trade. if we want to improve our schools...
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we're still getting plenty of comments on our page about governor christie and his criticism of mitt romney's gifts comment. honey writes, finally a republican who gets it. karen agreed, adding, i just hope house and senate republicans follow his honorable lead. and jerry told us, christie is like the rest of the country.
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he sees romney for what he is, a phony! >> we'll have much more on christie backing away from mitt romney coming up. but first, we want to hear what you think. please head over to facebook and search "politics nation" and like us to joint conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. [ male announcer ] zeebox is the free app
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that makes watching tv even better. if your tv were a hot dog zeebox would be some sort of fancy, french mustard. when they magically unite, people would think, "woah, this two dollar hot dog tastes like a fancy eight dollar hot dog." download zeebox free, and say "woah" every time you watch tv. for weeks, john mccain has been slandering our ambassador to the u.n., susan rice. saying she didn't tell the truth about the attack on our consulate in libya. and even that she's not that the
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bright. but today, mccain came face to face with the facts. for the first time, we saw the cia talking points on which ambassador rice based her comments on the sunday talk shows. the cia said "the currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the u.s. embassy in cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the u.s. diplomatic post in benghazi and subsequently its annex. there are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations." and, of course, that's exactly what ambassador rice told the american people. >> our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in
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cairo. we believe that it looks like extremist elements individuals joined in that -- in that effort. >> ambassador rice reported exactly what she was told by the cia. and testifying behind closed doors on capitol hill today, general david petraeus backed her up. looks like maverick mccain's flying solo with his fake talk express. joining me now is congressman gary ackerman, democrat from the new york, and senior member house foreign affairs committee and ryan grim, washington bureau chief of the "huffington post." he's writing about john mccain's call for a committee to investigate the benghazi attacks today. thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you, rempbtd. >> congressman, let me start with you. in your view, what happened today? is that significant in the mccain smear of ambassador rice?
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>> yeah, i think it's very significant. i mean, these people are now being confronted with facts to put the lie to the whole program that they've been embarked on, which has basically been a program to discredit the president and the entire administration. their continuing the war of delegitimate mizing him. they don't understand that they've lost the last two national elections. and these crazy language things that they're using, their completely out of place. beyond the pale kind of tactics which are reprehensible, are not going to work with the american people because the facts are going to be there and they're going to confront them. >> now, even republican congressman peter king confirmed that the cia came up with those talking points used by ambassador rice. watch this, congressman. >> the process was completed, and they said okay, go with those talking points. again, i got impression about seven, eight, nine different agencies. >> but you said the cia said
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okay to the revised reports? >> well, they said in that after it goes through the process, they okayed it to go. they said okay for it to go. >> they said okay to go. so how can senator mccain say that will ambassador rice misled the american people or knew anything different when you even have peter king, a republican peter king, saying yes, the ci app told those are the talking points, go with that? >> evidently senator mccain has his own sense of reality which is very much beyond the pale and not in the world of reality. he's still fighting the war that he's been fighting against this president trying to discredit him and to make him ig legitimate. ambassador rice is one of the brightest level headed, straight shooting it public servants that we very, bar none. they're trying to get to the president by discredititying her and trying to lay the groundwork
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for defeating one of the president's possible, nobody's said it, but possible appointees in the upcoming administration. because her name has been mentioned for secretary of state. so they've embarked on that from the beginning. she is well disciplined. she would not be off the program. if she reported what the cia intelligence was, you can bet and the democrats believe that from the very beginning that that was the word from the cia. but the real, real problem confronting america is the way these guys are willing to slander the president and the administration by any means. we certainly didn't do that, the democrats i'm talking about, during the bush administration. when we had a different secretary of state colin powell, and he operated on what he said was the intelligence that he got. >> yeah. >> which was totally completely false, filled with lies, absolutely absurd when the truth was actually known and we didn't take advantage of it because we are all supposed to act like
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americans and patriots. these guys are anything but. what these guys have done is they're willing to sack their own quarterback in order to get themselves into the game. those are not team players. these guys are like people on wall street who go in and short a stock which means you go and bet against it. you bet that the stock is going to fall and the company's going to lose money and you cheer for that to happen. because you've made that play, doesn't mean that you're a fan of the company just because you're getting in there. it's a very unpatriotic thing to do. >> let me go to ryan grim here because i agree with you, congressman. we did not do it to colin powell or to condoleezza rice. ryan, you wrote in your piece in the "huffington post" today something that may begin to explain what mccain is doing. in january, i'm reading from your piece, the arizona senator will lose his top-ranking committee seat due to term limits. the only ranking republican spot available to him next session
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will be on indian affairs committee. unless the senate creates a brand-new select committee with extensive authority to investigate the benghazi libya attack and the u.s. government's response." are you suggesting that he wants a committee because he really will not be a major player come january? >> it's impossible to note what's exactly motivating him, but the facts are these, that he -- his slide into irrelevance would be stemmed by a new committee. you know, he's behind tom coburn on homeland security. he's not on foreign relations. and as you said, he's off his current ranking seat on armed services. he's already done the indian affairs committee. that's the perch he used to go after jack abramoff. so he couldn't really do that again. so if they create a new committee and he's the top republican on it, that allows him to going on sunday shows and continuing to pontificate on.
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>> you're breaking news on the position of that new committee? >> that's right. harry reid send a letter back to him, thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks. he's rejecting the -- >> so the majority leader's rejecting mr. mccain's request for a special committee. >> right. >> congressman, the way congress works, he has -- he in the senate, even though you're in the house but he in the senate has his work cut out for him if the majority lead ser denying that, wouldn't you say? >> there's no work for him to do. he doesn't have anything cut out. the majority leader is the one who will make the decision. there's no way that senator mccain can override that. it seems that ryan's right. this is very, very possibly and we don't know what's in mccain's mind, but this is a fight to stay relevant on his part. when people try to stay relevant, sometimes they say the whackiest darnedest, can tank russ and wrong head of things.
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he's on that tangent right now. >> thank you both for your time this evening. both of you have a nice weekend. >> you, too. >> take care. >> ahead, this republican chairman in maine is apologizing after complaining about "dozens of black people" voting. but his apology actually made it worse. and say good-bye to be this friendship. chris christie speaks on mitt romney's gifts comment. you got to hear this. stay with us. >> top ten mitt romney scapegoats. listen to this now, number ten, the ancient sum marians who invented arithmetic. this guy right here, there's paul ryan. number three, fact checkers. i don't get this one either. number two, the republican party for nominating m. ouch. oh. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again.
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no matter how you slice it, a lot of republicans just can't accept the president's health care law is here to stay. some dead enders on the right declared today papa john's appreciation day. urging conservatives to grab a slice of pizza because the company's ceo slammed the health care law. this summer, he said "obama care will cost 11 to 146 cents per
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pizza. mamamyia, the whole extra dime per pizza pie to get health care for everyone in america, hey, republicans, didn't you get the memo? you lost the election and the fight is over. just ask john boehner. >> it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected. obama care is the law of the land. >> it's happening it, and there's nothing they can do about it. right now, states are deciding how to implement a key part of the law. states can either set up exchanges for people to buy insurance or let the federal government do it for them. you think that choice would be easy for republican governors, given how much they hate the federal government. >> we don't like when the federal government comes and shoves things down our throat. >> sadly, the hardest part of my job continues to be this federal government. >> i mean all the states are actually under assault by this federal government. they are under assault by this
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federal government. >> so dwhae these governors decide? rick perry and his buddies are letting the feds set up their exchanges. they don't want the federal government to have any control over health care. so now they're letting the federal government have more control over health care. these republican politicians have tied themselves into knots trying to deal with the law of the land. and now they're eating some humble pizza pie. nice try. but we got you. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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we all know mitt romney was a loser, but until this week, we didn't know republicans thought so, too. and now, they just want him to go away. today, new jersey governor chris christie became the most high profile republican so far torre ject romney's claim that president obama won because he gave gifts to minorities.
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>> do you agree with bobby jindal, it was a terrible thing to say and stayed terribly? >> sure. >> you can't expect to be leader of all the people and be divisive. you have to talk about themes, policies that unite people. anding play to their aspirations and their goals and their hopes for their family and their neighbors. and i always think this kind of scapegoating after elections, i mean, when you lose, you lost. someone asked me the other day, why did mitt romney lose? because he got less votes than barack obama. that's why. >> sure, it was terrible. you can't be divisive. .republicans have finally woken up and realized that is not good politics to insult half the american people. they just want romney to disappear. >> is it time for mitt romney to move on and stop having conference calls? >> that's up to him. mitt romney is a friend of mine. i understand he is very upset
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about having lost the election and very disappointed. i've never run for president. we've lost elections. i've lost elections but never for the presidency. i'm sure it stings terribly. >> it's not helpful, right. >> of course not. but he's a good man and he will find his level. and i think it's still a little raw. so do i wish he hadn't said those things, of course not. but on the other hand, i'm not going to bury the guy for it. >> i'm not going to bury the guy for it, but i sure am happy to go on tv and talk about it. and late today, romney's former national co-chairman tim pawlenty joined the chorus, kicking the former governor to the curb. >> i don't think it's a matter of people looking at the election and saying i'm going to vote because of, you know gifts. i think they looked at it and said which one of these candidates would they prefer because leadership considerations and also can understand their needs the best. i don't think it's as simple as
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saying the president gave out gifts. i just don't think it's that simple. there's a lot more to it than that. >> so now of the biggest names in the gop have condemned romney's comments, including a bunch of his former pals and some folks who may try to run for president in 2016. these republicans have seen the writing on the wall. and are practically shoving mitt romney off the public stage. joining me now is melissa harris-perry host of the melissa harris-perry show here on msnbc and margie oh marrow. democratic strategies. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> absolutely. >> melissa, the romney comments have managed to doll what nothing else has, unify the republicans. >> look, i guess i can say a couple of things. one, we already knew before this general election that republicans really did not like mitt romney. that was not, you know, if we
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can go back and remember the primaries they seem so distanced now but those republican primaries were ugly and bruising in a circumstance where mitt romney really was highly likely from the very beginning to be the nominee. so you have to ask why wasn't that ugly. in a certain way, i think you're seeing that same thing show back up that we saw during the primaries. but the second thing i would say and it goes back a little bit to the conversation that you were having about the issue of our president, president obama and his foreign policy efforts. what we have seen from the republicans in terms of them quieting their own discord during the election is that they are capable of being loyal when they feel like that loyalty is fundamentally important for reaching their goal. in this case, it was the goal of trying to defeat president obama so they lined up behind a candidate they didn't actually like. but they're unwilling to do it for our president on the foreign policy stage because there's still, despite the fact we're on the other side of the election,
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they're still battling this president. >> now, margie, it can seems that the mr. romney, the former governor, is in denial. i mean, let me quote, give you a quote that he said on the call to donors. he says we are still having a hard time just contemplating what could have been versus what is and it just doesn't seem real. we're still in the stage of denial at my house. we still think the campaign is going on." what do you make of that? >> i can appreciate ta that call was a difficult call for him to lead. undoubtedly. nonetheless, the comment that he made, the gifts comments is completely consistent with the 47% comment. it's consistent with paul ryan's 30% comment. it's consistent not just a single comment here or there. the entire republican romney/ryan platform, the hot red rick, the makers versus takers language that we've seen from them.
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and this is really a gift for republicans, this gifts line because it allows them or gives them at least a first step to try and turn the age on the campaign. >> melissa, it's not only former governor romney that seems to be in denial, some of the more renowned or influential republicans are in denial. when you look at the gop chairman rather of maine who worried about voter fraud because dozens of black people voted, let me show you what he said. >> in some parts of the state, for example, in some parts of rural maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came and voted election day. everybody has the right to vote. but nobody in town knows anybody that's black. how did it happen? i don't know. we're going to find out. >> i'm sorry. >> he then went ahead to explain why he said this. watch his explanation,
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professor. >> he's putting it up on screen. he says "i think we're the whitest state in the country. so if you go to the polls and see people who are black, it's unusual." there's nothing about me that would be discriminatory. i know black people. i played basketball every sunday with a black guy. >> well, you have to wonder, resin al, where he thinks this black guy. >> i'm not making this up. this is a quote. >> and you've got to wonder, where does he think this black guy that he plays basketball came from? does he think he has a family and goes church and has a barber and has friends? >> that is those dozens of black people who showed up. listen, that kind of unawareness, i think what you've done here is maekt exactly the connection that part of the denial that the romney campaign is feeling and look, i get the human part of that. i get the as we heard governor christie saying, it does sting to lose an election, especially one like the u.s. presidency.
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but that denial, that belief that they could win and then you know, hearing from maine we didn't know that there were black people who lived here basically. >> other than the guy that plays basketball. >> those things being connected i think are really connected in that they're part of the gop really failing to recognize what america is at this point. and this kind of like determination, this refusal to live anywhere other than a sort of 1950s version of what america used to be. >> yeah. now, let me ask you. you are a political strategist, margie. tell me the political cost of all of this denial because in the middle of this, i mean, at one level it's sad. another level it's humorous. but in the midst of all of this, if they don't come to terms with the reality that america has changed, will they not
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marginalize themself and eventually not be a major party? >> i think the denial piece, look, having a tough time the first couple weeks after the election, i think that's understandable. i don't know if there's a long-term effect. but people expect politicians to argue amongst themselves and call each other names. they really don't want to see elected officials really speak so divisively and derisively about the electorate and say these voters who cares about them, they only wants gifts and they only want that. when you see people say, this was really about minorities, obama won because minorities turned out in record numbers and all voted for obama for whatever rainy, it's almost as if they're trying to invalidate the results. that's how it sounds to my ear. i think it sounds like that to a lot of other people, too. that in the long run isn't going to help their future goal of trying to woo some of those voters. i think chris christie and his comments and others are right that you need to ultimately be
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speaking to everybody in an inclusive way. that was why obama was able to expand the electorate in 2008. >> marjorie and melissa, thanks so much for your time. be sure to catch melissa harris-perry saturdays and sundays starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. ahead, it was a privilege and honor to meet with the president today. at the ran on fairness and he's about to deliver. reverend jim wallace was there with us. he joins me next. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. snug how on earth did mitt romney find out about the extraordinary bag of gifts that we got? something for everybody in this. oh. what did obama give us? oh, bag of weed. that was nice. oh, food stamp cozy.
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contraception variety pack. how thoughtful on there. pinata filled with green cards. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition
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or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at he loves risk. but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the market, he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things, like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade. >> it was an interesting meeting at the white house today with president obama.
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i'll talk about it with reverend jim wallace, president of sojourners. that's next.
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what i have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. what we can do is make sure that middle class taxes don't go up. >> president obama vowed earlier this week to make sure taxes don't go up for 98% of americans. and today at the white house, he told the congressional leaders and others that he would hold firm on his pledge. but he also said he's open to new ideas that could help fix some of the nation's financial challenges. i was at the white house today joined by a number of other activists and civic leaders for a meeting with the president. it was a candid and fruitful
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with a clear message that working people and middle class people and poor people won't get left behind. joining me now, reverend jim wallace, president and ceo of sojourners. he was also in the meeting today. thanks for being here, jim. the president looked like he means business to us. 12 of us met with him. he was very free with his time. seemed firm. what did you take away from the meeting? >> it was a serious and substantial conversation i thought. al, we're not facing a battle over a fiscal cliff as they say as much as a battle over the fiscal soul of this nation. we need a pathway to financial sustainability, but will it include all of us or not? will it include those white sox jesus called the least of these, is poorest and vulnerable and the issue of biblical fairness is here.
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should we now really give a tax breaking to 98% of the american people, working families especially low income families and kids. doesn't that make sense? isn't that fair and the wealthy pay their fair share. so for us, this isn't just a political issue. there are religious issues involved here. and i raised those today at the white house with the president. >> it's a lot of drama back and forth outside, but the president seemed real calm. he seemed firm. he listened to each one of us. we went back and forth, agreements, disagreements. but he seemed very calm and resolute that the 98% of america should not have to pay higher taxes just to hold them hostage for 2% to continue to get their tax cut. i think that's one thread that we saw firm by the president, a very calm but definite way. >> and again, for many of us, this isn't a partisan issue. it's a fairness issue. we're talking about most of the american people needing some
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help, some time to recover here. and the wealthy should pay their fair share. the bible is pretty clear about all this. the circle of protection which i'm a part of, includes the catholic bishops, the national association of evangelicals, the salvation army. this is not a religious left group or a partisan group. we're saying that how we treat the poorest and most are vulnerable is a fundamental principle for the health of our nation. and the president made that clear today. he was going to protect the poor and vulnerable and from the faith point of view, that's a very healthy thing to be committed to. >> now, you mentioned evangelicals and the circle of protection. >> right. >> reverend franklin graham, who says he speaks for a lot of evangelicals. let me show you what he said on news max tv. >> in the last 40 years, we have taken our -- we've begun to turn our backs on god. we've taken him out of the education system and government and allowed ourself to take god
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out of everything that we do. and i believe god will judge our nation one day. maybe god will have to bring our nation down to our knees to where you just have a complete economic collapse and maybe at that point, maybe people will begin again to call upon the name of almighty god. >> what do you respond to that? >> it's very sad to see a religious leader using concerns that christians have for such partisan purposes which is what franklin graham is doing. i want to bring god into the midst of this conversation about fairness and justice and how we treat the vulnerable. but i think this partisan manipulation of religion, i'm an evangelical and what's clear now is that evangelical will no longer mean white evangelical and franklin graham has to get used to that. evangelical is hispanic, african-americans, asians,
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didn't vote the way he did this time by a large majority. so we brought other issues into the election like how we treat the poor, how we treat the environment, how we welcome strangers. you in evangelicals last week writing the president last week saying how we treat the immigrant undocumented people is for us a biblical issue. we're going to write them again this week, the president and say who are serving the poor at christmastime and thanksgiving we're involved in that. those of us who are doing that are going to say to our members of congress don't make decisions that make the poor poorer and make our work harder. so you might say we're doing turkey baskets for the poor than baskets of letters to our some of our turkeys who represent us in congress. >> the moral majority for so longing had sway with partisan sway. do you think that their influence has waned? is that over now. >> here's the big change. the religious right for a long
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time tried to control the meaning of the word evangelical and make it a partisan political word. it's not. it's a theological term. it's about following jesus christ. it's about taking the bible seriously. and the issues there are one or two issues doesn't do that. so we're talking about evangelical now with a much broader meaning. evangelical means good news to the poor. and if it isn't good news to poor people, it isn't the gospel of jesus. franklin graham needs to read his bible more carefully. he would find 2,000 verses in the bible about how betreat poor people. that's what it means to be evangelical. his narrow view i think is coming to an end. >> reverend evangelist jim wall p is, thank you for coming in. coming up, the evolution of a right wing smear. we've seen then movie before. that's next. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop?
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finally tonight, the crumbling of a lie. today, as the facts became public, john mccain's smear of the president and ambassador rice was exposed. but we've seen this movie before. remember there was that bogus a.c.o.r.n. scandal, the pimp, the edited tapes? it was made up. and how about the solyndra? another madeup scandal, accusing the president of crony capitalism. then there was the eric holder witch hunt in the fast and furious joke investigation. all the fake scandals developed the same way, from the right wing blogs to the radio talkers to the party mouthpiece fox news. then to the halls of congress. but to see senat
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